Being Frank AKA You Can Choose Your Family 2018 Movie Jim Gaffigan as Frank and Logan Miller as Philip seeing the two families meet

Being Frank [2018]

When you’ve seen all the big comedies it’s time to dig deeper and check out the smaller ones. Being Frank AKA You Can Choose Your Family is a surprisingly charming albeit clumsy comedy featuring a rather intriguing plot. It’s about Frank, a middle-aged guy living the classic suburban life that’s about to be shaken to its core. You see, his rebellious son Philip will discover that Frank is actually living a double life. And this is where I’ll stop myself from telling you more about the story. Before playing this movie, I looked up the short synopsis and I knew what was Frank’s secret. However, I think that it will be much better if you just dive straight into this one, without knowing much about what’s going to happen.

That way, the impact of the initial discovery will be greater. And this movie needs all the help it can get. Mostly because everything hinges on that single concept stretched to its absolute limits. During the final third a lot of cracks will appear and Being Frank will start getting sloppy. However, by that time you’ll already be invested in the characters and the main story, so you’ll be able to finish it without any major issues. The cast will help you with that immensely. Jim Gaffigan was the perfect choice for the lead role along with Anna Gunn who, this time, plays the role of an unsuspecting wife. You might remember her from Breaking Bad where she played Skyler, Walter White’s wife.

Her character was the most hated one on that show, easily beating killers, drug dealers, and others. And just to be perfectly clear, Being Frank AKA You Can Choose Your Family is a regular movie. I say that because Jim Gaffigan is a successful stand-up comic. Moving on, the younger part of the cast did an even better job than the older one. Logan Miller and Isabelle Phillips stand out with their pitch-perfect performances. Keep an eye on them, I think they’ll have really good careers. What carries this movie is the upbeat and sunny retro atmosphere. I say retro because we’re back in the nineties, a time when cell phones were a rarity along with computers and The Internet.

Most of the story takes place during the day, over the course of just a couple of days. The script was solid but it also has a lot of wasted potential. You can clearly feel what they were trying to do with certain characters (Ross) and situations but the end result was rather messy. On the other hand, all the technical aspects were great and the locations were familiar. We will travel from the classic suburban homes to idyllic lakeside cabins absorbing the main moral dilemma. Speaking of which, the movie takes a rather loose and even positive attitude toward an act that’s not only illegal but also morally wrong.

At least in my opinion and in the arrangement Frank has it. If this was done in a different way, with the full consent of all the parties who are involved, go for it brother. Then again, this would take away all the tension from the story so I know this is not something that was feasible. Plus, it’s much more fun this way, watching Frank trying to keep it all together. In a sense, Being Frank is more about his son, Phillip than it is about him. So, you can say that this is a coming-of-age movie more than anything else. Although I’m firmly placing it in our Rabbit Reviews Dysfunction Family Movies tag. It was quite interesting to look at the relationship between Frank and Phillip.

To see how the son discovers that the father is not the divinity he declares himself to be. Something a lot of parents end up doing despite their experiences growing up. Finally, if you’re looking for movies like Being Frank AKA You Can Choose Your Family, I’ve got a couple of suggestions. Both Night Owls and Big Bear are hugely underrated and unknown comedies worth watching. All three of these movies are somewhat lighthearted making them a perfect choice for those nights when you’re looking for something new and easygoing. 

Director: Miranda Bailey

Writers: Glen Lakin

Cast: Jim Gaffigan, Logan Miller, Anna Gunn, Samantha Mathis, Alex Karpovsky, Isabelle Phillips

Fun Facts: The tuition check Phillip receives is dated to 4/20/1992, an obvious reference to weed.


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